AACE welcomes Government backing to keep Ambulance Services as part of the NHS and reaffirms it’s support for closer blue light working

The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) has welcomed Government backing to keep ambulance services as part of the NHS, while reaffirming its support for closer collaboration and more innovative blue light working between the three emergency services, following today’s publication of the Government’s summary of its Enabling Closer Working Between the Emergency Services (September 2015) consultation.

AACE is reassured that the Enabling Closer Working Between the Emergency Services: Summary of consultation responses and next steps report reflected Government recognition that the Department of Health, NHS England and AACE are all clear that ambulance trusts should remain as part of the NHS, so they can integrate more closely with other parts of the NHS in order to play an even greater role in the future of urgent and emergency care.

AACE Managing Director Martin Flaherty OBE says:

“It is extremely positive that the Government has acknowledged how important it is that ambulance services are managed and governed through the NHS, in order to ensure that the very best quality of healthcare is provided to patients. The ambulance service is first and foremost a clinical service, with the correct governance in place underpinning clinical care, and it must always remain part of the NHS.”

Ambulance trusts have a long history of collaborating closely with police, fire and rescue and other partner agencies to ensure that where services do overlap, the most efficient response is offered to the public. And while today’s report includes news that the Government will introduce a new statutory duty on the three emergency services to collaborate with each other to improve efficiency and effectiveness – which AACE did not feel was necessary – the organisation will embrace the opportunity to work even more closely with partners to develop, share and spread examples of best practice in joint blue light working.